An Iroquois war veteran has written a letter from his deathbed accusing former President Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney of unforgivable war crimes. He also pleaded with them to offer a public apology for their sins.
"I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded," Tomas Young began in a letter addressed to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
"I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day," Young continued, acknowledging that he too has suffered from depression since joining the army.
"I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens," Young stated.
But shortly after joining, Young discovered that he was to be deployed to Iraq. He stated that he quickly became depressed about a war the was fueled by the " greed of oil companies" and justified by the shutdown of "mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities" and false "liberation of the Iraqis."
"The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level- moral, strategic, military and economic-Iraq was a failure," Young wrote. "And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences."
"I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11," Young added. But "We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned."
Young goes on to accuse Bush and Chenney of making "much pretense of being a Christian" while not acknowledging the "sin" of "murder" and "lying." He finished by encouraging both men to stand up and admit to their sins.
"My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come," he tells Bush and Chenney. "I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness."